Mississippi DUI Law
In Mississippi, it is illegal to function a motor means while you are under the influence of alcohol. It is also illegal to function a means while your blood alcohol concentration level meets or exceeds the legal limit of 0.08%. There are separate limits for persons under the age of 21 or drivers of commercial vehicles. For persons under the age of 21, the BAC limit is 0.02% and for commercial drivers, the legal limit is 0.04%. There are both criminal and administrative consequences for being convicted of a driving under the influence offense. Because these penalties have a strong possible to negatively impact your quality of life, it is important that you contact a Mississippi DUI lawyer so you have the best chances of presenting a defense that will help you to avoid a conviction or minimize the penalties imposed on you if you are convicted.
Mississippi DUI Arrests
If you are arrested for a driving under the influence offense in the state of Mississippi, it will commence two separate situations against you. One is the criminal case that you will have to go by to defend yourself against the criminal charges. The second is an administrative case with the Mississippi Department of Motor Vehicles. If you refused chemical testing or had a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or more, your driver’s license will be confiscated from you by the arresting officer. The only way you can try to save your license is if you contact the Department of Motor Vehicles. Once your license is confiscated, the state will try to suspend your driving privileges for 90 days to one year. In order to try to save your license, you must file a test refusal appeal with the DMV within 10 calendar days of your arrest. This appeal won’t stop the license suspension from occurring but it will give you the right to an informal hearing with the DMV. There is no jury present at this hearing; it is simply a review of your case to determine if the DMV agrees with the state to suspend your license or if your license will be returned to you. The decision will be made at the hearing so you will know if your driving privileges have been taken away before you leave the hearing. Having a hearing can help you in your criminal case because your Mississippi DUI attorney can cross-examine the arresting officer to determine the facts of your case.
Mississippi DUI Criminal Penalties
The penalties for a DUI conviction in Mississippi depend on the age of the offender, the number of prior offense, and any irritating factors involved in a case. There is a look-back period of five years when prosecutors are calculating what level offense you will be charged with. If you have a prior conviction that occurred within five years of your most recent conviction, you will be charged and punished as a second-time offender. If the prior offense occurred more than five years before your most recent conviction, then you will be charged and punished as a first-time offender. If you have three convictions for DUI in a 5-year time period, you will be charged with a felony DUI.
If you are under 21, a first offense will consequence in a fine of $250 and a license suspension period of 30 to 90 days. If you refused to take a breath test, you will be charged with an adult DUI. A second offense will consequence in a fine of up to $500 and a license suspension period of one year. This period can be reduced to 6 months if you complete a certified drug and alcohol program. A third offense while you are under the age of 21 will consequence in a fine of up to $1,000, sentencing to completion of a certified drug and alcohol program, and a license suspension period of 2 years or suspension until you turn 21.
For adults convicted of driving under the influence, the penalties may include jail time, license suspension, fines, and other punishments. First offenses may consequence in a fine of $250 to $1,000, repayment of court costs, 48 hours of jail time, and license suspension for one year. A second offense within 5 years of a prior conviction will consequence in a fine of $600 to $1,500, repayment of court costs, 5 days to one year of jail time, 10 days to one year of community service, a license suspension period of two years, and means impoundment or immobilization for the complete length of the suspension. A third offense within 5 years of two prior convictions will consequence in fines of $2,000 to $5,000, one to five years of jail time at the state prison, a five year license suspension period, means seizure and sale, and a felony on your record. There are additional penalties for driving under the influence offenses that rule to death or disfigurement. This is a felony and will consequence in the loss of your civil rights and make it difficult for you to get a job. If your driving under the influence offense results in the death or disfigurement of another person, you will confront felony charges with a penalty of not less than five years and not more than 25 years of jail time.
Driver’s License Penalties in Mississippi
There are several different driver’s license penalties for DUI in Mississippi. Depending on the level of offense, you will confront suspensions or revocations of increasing time periods. If you want to get your license reinstated, you have to attend a 12-hour alcohol safety education program at your own expense. You also must show proof that you paid all of the fines and served all of the jail time you were sentenced to by the court. There is a reinstatement fee of $100 and you must also provide proof of insurance. You may be eligible for a hardship license if you have only had one DUI offense. This hardship license will allow you to excursion to work, get to medical appointments, or attend school. Your license must be suspended for 30 days before a hardship license will be granted. This hardship license is not obtainable if you refused breath testing when arrested. If you refused chemical testing, the penalties are a 90 day license suspension for a first offense, one year license suspension for a second offense, and one year license suspension for a third offense. This suspension period is in addition to any suspension sentenced by the court and it will run consecutively to any other suspension.